Thomas Macias, 51, went to a barbecue last month near his community on Lake Elsinore, about 70 miles from Los Angeles.
Shortly after the party, he began to feel sick. On June 20, he posted a sly Facebook message warning his loved ones about the dangers of the virus, his family said.
“I went out a few weeks ago … because of my stupidity I endangered my mom and my sisters and my family’s health,” he wrote. “It was a very painful experience. It’s not funny. If you have to go out, wear a mask and exercise social distance. … Let’s hope with God’s help, I will be able to survive.”
A friend attended the party while he was ill
Before the barbecue, it just came out, Gustavo Lopez’s son-in-law told CNN. But he was incredibly sociable and felt isolated and decided to visit his friends when the state left some restrictions, he added.
“Wherever he went, he made friends immediately,” Lopez said. “He was missing from his friends and he was missing from his family. So, just started some of the restrictions he felt free and unfortunately he went to this meeting to be with his friends and then that was the result.”
A friend who was at the party arrived in Macia to say he had coronavirus and knew the diagnosis when he attended the rally, but did not believe he could infect anyone because he had no symptoms, Lopez said.
“Our understanding is that a gentleman called him and said, ‘Hello, I was at the party, I knew I was positive.’ I didn’t tell anyone, “Lopez said. “I think the gentleman is sorry he didn’t tell everyone, and he invited people who were at the party to try.”
Macias was upset but blamed himself for the error during the crisis, even using the Facebook post to warn his friends about the dangers of the virus. About a dozen people at the party showed positive results, Lopez said.
Riverside County has more than 18,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and about 460 deaths. It has the second highest number of cases in the state after Los Angeles county.